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Hindu fundamentals under attack

As a believing Hindu, I am ashamed of what is being done by people claiming to be acting in the name of my faith. I have always prided myself on belonging to a religion of astonishing breadth and range of belief; a religion that acknowledges all ways of worshipping God as equally valid - indeed, the only major religion in the world that does not claim to be the only true religion. Hindu fundamentalism is a contradiction in terms, since Hinduism is a religion without fundamentals; there is no such thing as a Hindu heresy. How dare a bunch of goondas shrink the soaring majesty of the Vedas and the Upanishads to the petty bigotry of their brand of identity politics? Why should any Hindu allow them to diminish Hinduism to the raucous self-glorification of the football hooligan, to take a religion of awe-inspiring tolerance and reduce it to a chauvinist rampage? For more, click on

The Bajrang Dal chief, Mahendra Singh, had admitted to the attacks being mis-directed, adding along-with that the mainstream Christianity was doing a lot of good work, particularly in the fields of education and healthcare. Even L K Advani admitted to the wrongs, and between the Parivar chiefs, they decided to ease out Mahendra Singh also. Now, as a gesture of atonement, why don't they undertake 'kar-seva' and repair/ re-build the damaged/ demolished churches? That would be the best way to re-build the harmony that had flourished between the followers of the two religions since ages.

Muralidhar Rao



silkboard's picture

fundamentalism + law and order

Thanks for starting this, because let me admit, I didn't have the guts to start one such thread myself. Past few days, it seems like certain liberties are under attack. Orissa, Karnataka, The bomb blasts have religious color on them. Other similar events may not have religious color. But one thing in common is that the notion that law and order has to be above all else is growing weak.

  • A CEO getting lynched to death by a mob is crime. Whether there was justification or provocation or not doesn't matter.
  • A nun getting gang raped in Orissa is perhaps a crime worst than murder. Provocations don't matter.
  • Vandalising churches is goondagiri, forced conversions may too be branded as polished goondagiri. But tit for tat is not the way to deal with things in civilized setups.
  • Blasts killing innocents are just that, crimes of worst order. If any past events were provocations, those too were crimes. Step a notch down from all these events.

Take the religious cover off for a moment and read some other experiences I can share.

  • A grocery shop-keeper decides to sell milk one day. The 'self professed' authorized milk dealer of the area doesn't like that and beats the shop's attendants black and blue.
  • A friend calls BBMP to complain about an illegal structure coming up on a main road without any provision for parking. Forget privacy and all, goons show up next day to remind that one should only mind his own business.
  • Owner of a property refuses to sell out to a builder who wants to build a private layout in the area. He then gets slapped with frivolous notices after notices, gets his water and electricity connections cut on regular basis. All this, till he relents and sells out.
  • A sundry traffic cop beats up a young well-meaning guy for he could't lodge his complaint in kannada, and then locks him up. And that young guy's father has no help, nowhere to go to complain.
  • A new shop shows up with a lot of glass to show, and the owner is not a native kannadiga. Folks show up asking for money or .... Next day, a red/gold flag shows up on the commercial building's front facade, and its business as usual.

The basic fabric of law and order has grown too weak. And since a majority of us don't get to deal with all this (except small business owners) on daily basis, we have been living in ignorance.

Police reforms are long pending. The 'last mile' setup of our law and order infrastructure (eyes and ears of police) are just too weak and inefficient. Everything I refer to above (blasts to riot to goondagiri), at some level or other is a result of that. However, we get to see the symptoms in religious or regional fundamentalist or whatever colors.

Its time. Its long pending, and something that just needs to be done, and needs to be done now. Law has to rule and rule firm, everything else comes later.

narayan82's picture

Its about power!

Every group seems to want to show that they are in control.Goes back to our animal links, where Lions protect tier territory! and we can oursleves civilized!!! Violence most definately is on the rise, both - trivial issues and organized terror crimes. Its time for us to really see what the root of these causes are, and address where dialog is possible and force where needed. I think we have let this go too far. from Local Goonda's to other religious political motivated groups. They have too much power and too much vested interests to stop and be reasoned with - they just wont listen! How do we solve this issue? I have no idea. To me this is more embarrasing to the country than any other issue. What if we used Gandhigiri? Silent protests (in large nos.) for tiny attrocities? Try to educate the next generation not to follow the same paths - face it sooner or later goonda's have to retire, we can stop a successor taking his place!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
kbsyed61's picture

Competitive Victimhood

Usually nations progresses in the civilization, thought process and human good. But its a Tragedy in India and other countries, instead of progressing, we are digressing in the basic human relationships. If early 20th century gave the gift of nationalism and a cause for standing upto foreign rulers, late 20th century seems to have lost this battle for ethnicity based on religion, regionalism and language. The fear of marginalization has taken the journey from complaining of high handedness to assertion of their rights. Mixed with political and power, this assertion has taken the form of arms aggression and even justifying the killing of few thousands. All in the name of religious doctrines or spontaneous reaction (newtons law). If one has to closely analyze this, this is nothing but COMPETITIVE VICTIMHOOD. All these pseudo-nationalist/Pseudo-Fundamentalist are competing with each other in proving that one is more victim than the other. Otherwise how do you explain people becoming refugees in their own land. Unless people stop looking for murderous revenge and ideology of hate, India will continue to witness riots, assaults and killings. For the serenity to prevail, a total 180 degree shift in attitude is required. From everybody. Majority and Minority. Majority should shed the fear that minority would ascend to the throne. Majority should stop worrying about minority's progress in economic and social stature. On the same token minorities should stop projecting themselves as oppressed and victims. A lot of water has flown into Ganges, Kaveri, Krishna and Godavari. Instead of asking for alms and charity (special treatments), should learn to earn their share by competing with majority. For that Education is the key. Basically, we all need to shed this cloak of majority and minority for real progress and betterment in life. Instead of asking for individual favors lets fight for others rights. Lets fight for education to all, health care for all, fight for affordable living, fight for just police and judicial system, fight for better political parties and leaders. This is not an impossible task. Take the example of recent J C Nagar mosque incident. Local youth and citizens stood ground to see that not a single untoward incident takes place. Things were normal in few hours without any major incidents.

Hindu fundamentalism is reactionary

Hindu Fundamentalism, according to Sir V S Naipaul, is a "corrective force" in the current Hindu/Indian society. It is like how Japan was transformed during the Meiji Era. Like it or not, Hindutva economics is what is driving Gujarat's Industrial progress. See for yourself how "secular" Waste Bengal is doing. Hindutva is a counter force to the sinister forces of Islamic fundamentalism (which has already claimed large parts of our country), Western Christian Imperialsm - which is supporting and propping up terrorists in Nagaland and other NE areas. We also have to contend with Marx putras and Mao putras among us. So as long as the mountains and rivers continue to exit, so long will dharma exist. As long as enemies of dharma exist, protectors to it will exist.
s_yajaman's picture

What is Hindutva economics

MCadambi, Can you please enlighten me on "hindutva economics"? The means are as important as the ends. Please remember that Hinduism has survived 1000 years of Muslim rule and 200 years of British rule without needing the Bajrang Dal or the Shiv Sena or the VHP. Upper caste Hindus have treated lower caste Hindus as sub-humans for many centuries and even now. If some of them want to leave the fold (whether for a blanket or for rice) what is the problem? Terrorism is an attack on the state and the nation. Not necessarily on Hinduism (which btw like it or not is not the state religion). It affects all law abiding people. Last but not least - Hindus make up the majority of this country. A very high probability that they make up the bulk of legislators, bureaucrats, local bodies, etc. So one can blame most of the ills of this country on Hindus. Muslims have to constantly prove their patriotism, but why is it assumed that Hindus are born patriots? Sd/- An ex-Hindu atheist.

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Hindutva economics - the cure for Bharat

We are paying the huge price for the socialist fantasy of Mr Jokerlal. Rajaji then itself criticised the policies of a cambridge educated, two timing, confused syphilic prime minister from kangress. Shri Narendra Modi - the hindu hriday samrat now leads the great industrial and economic revolution of the lion state of India - Gujarat. Shri Narendra Modi himself declares that he is a proud product of RSS and a student of Hindu economics of Shri Dattopant Thengdi. More about hindu economics: Srivatsa - all our rust belt bureaucracy is a inheritance since the time of Mr Jokerlal and his daughter. That it has grown to such kafkaesque proportions that it is taking a lot more time and will to dismantle than necessary. The late Shri Nani Palkhivala remarked that, "It takes a superhuman effort to keep India poor." We know very well who those superhumans are - the creations of Mr Jokerlal. The soon we get rid of all the creations of Mr Jokerlal, the soon we will progress. Jai Hind! Sd - a proud member of RSS
s_yajaman's picture

Sounds very similar to...

"Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society." from Wikipedia. Since you insist on bashing Nehru here is some food for thought "There is reliable evidence that Nehru did not impose state control , Indian industrialists wanted it. The Bombay Plan, issued in 1944, not by the government of India or the constituent assembly, but by a group of leading “capitalists” of the country, insisted that “the State should exercise, in the interests of the community, a considerable measure of intervention and control”. They called out energy, infrastructure, and transport as requiring state monopoly! The plan also prescribed “an enlargement of the positive as well as preventative functions of the state” as “essential” to large-scale economic planning. There was also the question of India’s recent painful brush with imperialism, which it associated, quite reasonably at that time, with capitalism. It wasn’t surprising, given the prevailing mood, that the framers of the Indian constitution included directive principles to ensure that “the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed so as to best serve the common good”, etc." See more here I agree with you on his daughter who institutionalized corruption in India. The other thing with the RSS philosophy is that someone else is always the cause of problems - either Muslims or Christians or Marxists or Nehru or Gandhi. When it is convenient Scheduled Castes become part of this great and glorious Hindu nation with a great and glorious past. When not they are treated like dirt. Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

And if your guruji had had his way

We would all be speaking Hindi. Check out this interview from 1957 Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

narayan82's picture

Do we practice what we preach?

Today's Hindu had an article: Maoists claim responsibility for killing of VHP leader ( It says, "The Orissa State committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Saturday claimed that it killed Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Lakshmanananda in Kandhamal district on August 23." And goes on to suggest, "Sabyasachi Panda, alias Sunil, said it became necessary to eliminate the Swami as he was forcing tribals and Dalit Christians in Kandhamal to convert to Hinduism." So conversion isn't something unique to "a" religion!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer

Bombay plan by oligarch friends of kangree

Srivathsa, isn't it just a co-incidence that our dear kangress practised capitalism for those who knew it and socialism for the rest. The Bombay Plan was nothing but a club of kangress supporters like Birlas, Tatas who got favours from the kangress to purchase the Indian economy later, stifiling competition. Markets are not perfect, but still, they are the only means by which prices effeciently co-ordinate allocation of resources. Within 5 years of Prime Minister Vajpayee liberalising telecom markets, we went for 5 million telephone lines from independence to about 360 million ones now. See - our dear axis of evil - macaulay putras, mao putras, marx putras, mullah putras and missionary putras provide more than a superhuman effort to tarnish and block the progress of Bharat. Guruji might have made some small mistakes. But it is only due to organisations like our that Bharat is still in one place and thriving. We still have a long way to go before we defeat the axis of evil plaguing our nation. Second, narayan82 - Swami Saraswathi did not force tribals to convert. He was associated with Vivekananda Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra - that which provides as much health care/ social services to tribals. The English language media will sings paens in praise of missionaries in this area but will not even mention the good work done even by non-RSS groups such as Baba Amte, HH Chinna Jeeyar or Nanaji Deshmukh.
murali772's picture

Respect an individual's decision

I cannot accept any justification for the thugs’ actions, nor am I prepared to see behind the violence an ‘‘understandable’’ Hindu resistance to Christian zealotry. Put simply, no non-violent activity, however provocative, can ever legitimise violence. We must reject and denounce assaults and killings, whatever they may claim to be reacting to. Our democracy will not long survive if we condone people resorting to violence in pursuit of their ends, however genuine and heartfelt their grievances may be. The whole point about our system of governance is that it allows all Indians to resolve their concerns through legitimate means, including seeking legal redress or political change - but not violence. Let us assume, for the purposes of argument, that Christian missionaries are indeed using a variety of inducements (development assistance, healthcare, education, sanitation, even chicanery - though there is only anecdotal evidence of missionary ‘‘trickery’’) to win converts for their faith. So what? If a citizen of India feels that his faith has not helped him to find peace of mind and material fulfilment, why should he not have the option of trying a different item on the spiritual menu? Surely freedom of belief is any Indian’s fundamental right under our democratic Constitution, however ill-founded his belief might be. And if Hindu zealots suspect that conversion was fraudulently obtained, why do they not offer counter-inducements rather than violence? Instead of destroying churches, perhaps a Hindu-financed sewage system or paathshala might reopen the blinkered eyes of the credulous. Better still, perhaps Christians and Hindus (and Muslims and Baha’is, for that matter) could all compete in our villages to offer material temptations for religious conversions. The development of our poor country might actually accelerate with this sort of spiritual competition. For the full text, click on: Muralidhar Rao
Muralidhar Rao

Hindu organisations are attacked

When hindu organisations such as Vivekananda Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra to which Swami Saraswathi are attacked by Maoists and their Missionary supporters, none of the police force ever came to the protection.

As we all know many non-market forces compete as well in the business of faith! ;-)

The Missionaries actively collude with Maoists and the proverbial '4M' axis of evil. Tit for tat - if the 4M want war <edited out, careful, no hatemongering please {blr_editor}>

Hindutva Gujarat Vs Sickular Waste Bengal

The proof is in the pudding for all to see. We can see how thriving Gujarat is and how regressing our dear sickular Waste Bengal is. If India has to progress - <edited out, no hate mongering please {blr_editor}>

s_yajaman's picture

And who liberalized the economy?

Of course, Guruji will make only "small mistakes". If my memory serves me right, it was the Kangress as you call it which liberalized the economy. Your Hitler worshippers were still talking Swadeshi - computer chips but no potato chips. No need to talk war on this site. I think it is best that we agree to disagree on this topic as we will never find middle ground. I will not respond to your posts on this topic and I would be very grateful if you do not respond to mine. I am a radical irreligious free thinking liberal. We sit at opposite ends of the socio-political spectrum and it will be "East is east and west is west..." There are other places where we can find commong ground. I have not come to this site to make enemies. Okay? Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

narayan82's picture

How do you measure Success?

Violence never solves any problem. It just aggrevates it. How can acts such as ruthless murder, mass graves and gang rapes be justified? Communal Violence is equal to Terrorist attacks!In fact its often greater in calamity and human loss. While we Debate communcal violence, we condemn the other! Why shoud we? They both create equal amount of loss, destain and attrocities - both must be condemed equally and treated with equal force! I second Murali's views, people have the freedom to choose who they wish to follow. if they are offered benefits by joining another religion, then they should be allowed to use those benfits. We cannot put religion before a person's sucess, happiness and development in life. Mcadambi: "The English language media will sings paens in praise of missionaries in this area but will not even mention the good work done even by non-RSS groups such as Baba Amte, HH Chinna Jeeyar or Nanaji Deshmukh." If you do great work, with through passion, you don't really look for recognition. The media must never be looked at as a reward for great work. I do not jude a decision (any decision) purely on media's knowledge. But you cannot justify two goods with a wrong.Any organisations (and i am NOT pointing fingers here) cannot be gievn free passes to crimes because of thier good deeds.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
asj's picture

Stuck in the means, the end remains forgotten

Without wanting to get in to the thick of it, religion basically was supposed to be a 'means to an end'. As humans evolved and attempted to leave behind the animal in them, religion became a tool to achieve the end of becoming 'civilised'. But as we know, we never have managed to give up on the animal aparatus (which still is a part of us) and instead of getting to the end (civilised), time and again we have got stuck in the means (religion). As we know, across the globe, various means exist, but when groups/individuals are stuck in them to a point of disrespecting the other - it is not surprising we end up killing each other. To some (politicians) the end has changed completely (its about staying in power) and hence the way they use the means has as well over time. Sad, we have 6 brilliant inches between our ears that have sent man on moon, last 100 years have seen huge advances in technology and yet, 80% of the world lives in abject poverty, 1 in 5 experiences depression (2-4 out of 10 experience a mental illness) and everyday we have (as SB has so nicely pointed out) we see an expression of the animal within us in one way or another. ASJ
silkboard's picture

Law angle vs religious colors

Why do we not see these things from the law and order failure angle first and everything else much much later? I tried to steer this discussion that way above, and failed. Try once more I will, why? Because I have seen some of this up close when growing up.

Sikhs were killed in my city after Mrs Gandhi's death. The "riots" in my neighborhood were triggered by jobless creatures, half of them paid for by some folks (no proof, I only 'heard'), and the other half very interested in robbing the houses of fleeing Sikh families and grabbing nice TVs and radios for their huts. At least the second set, I know for sure, was never caught or punished.

I saw bandhs, by all types of parties, regional, communist or national. Each time, I saw how shopkeepers were unwillingly made to down shutters, and then how all that showed up in next day's newspapers as "successful bandh". The guys who 'enforced' the bandhs - we knew some of them, but cops never bothered to 'know' them.

Then, I heard (in my growing up days) on how happy people felt when police (matter not proven, still in courts I believe) tried the acid treatment to enforce rule of law in a city (refer movie 'Gangajal', google "Bhagalpur acid").

Why make you run down personal memoirs of law and order observations? On top of some observations shared in the first comment here, take some recent events at Bangalore.

  • Stone a few cars if a 100-people rally turns 'angry'.
  • Go torch a bus if it knocks down a pedestrian (incident from airport road, 1.5 years ago).
  • How many of you saw mobs burning public property live on TV after Dr Rajkumar's natural death? Remember HDK's promise that he'd use camera feeds to catch the arsonists and punish them? Did that happen?

Look. A diverse society like ours will always have the extremists, and they will always find the so-called justification or provocation to "tip over" and take law in their hands. But these "tipping over" tendencies start and take root via these umpteen experiences and observation that tell us that law can't really catch up. Couldn't it be that the extreme symptoms we are seeing now are seeded in these lax interpretation or implementation of law and order at lower and basic levels?

I don't really want to get into the Hindutva talk here, but I have one simple observation on Hindu-Muslim thing that a comment above might be trying to jump to. How many Muslims do I know to pass judgments on one full big community? Sadly enough, despite being a secular at heart and non-judgmental (so I think), I don't have one good Muslim friend (I mean personal, local friend) today. Don't go by the needless talk about Bollywood Khans and Indian cricket team having Muslim stars. Ask yourself this honest question, do you mingle enough to know the community? Interaction is the only way communities understand each other. When that basic thing has reduced (at least by my empirical and personal observation, compared to 15-20 years ago), all we tend to go by is what we read and see in mainstream media.

Is that really a good thing?

chakkipeesing's picture

Rose by any other name...

Why are they Muslim "terrorists", but Hindu "fundamentalists" ?!

This thread is irrelevant to this site

As Srivatsa said, neither he nor I am in this site to make enemies. We are all interested in a good and great city, perhaps then become a beacon to the country as a whole. This site was exclusively meant for civic issues not for identity politics. This will be my last post on this thread. I apologise for any personal criticism - which was not my intention in the first place. Jai Hind!
s_yajaman's picture

Dr.ASJ - there is an excellent book

called "The Sane Society" by Erich Fromm (I think he was a psychiatrist too).  I am sure you must have read it.  This was written, I believe, in the 60s but seems as relevant today especially for a country like India

He tries to examine whether there is such a thing such as mental health for society as a whole, whether what we consider normal societies are really normal, and how man is getting more and more alienated from others in society and also from the product of his work.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

SB - excellent points


You make excellent points.  Lawlessness is on the increase simply because precedents have been set where one knows that nothing will happen if I break a law. 

The other night I was on my way back from the airport and all of us were waiting at the traffic light when suddenly a Tavera comes driving up horning away to glory.  When the car in front did not move, he started yelling at him.  The signals after Cauvery theatre (into the city) such as High Grounds, etc are a joke after 10:00 p.m.(sorry Mr.Sood).  No one stops.

If you go around J.P.Nagar you will find dozens of houses that have encroached on the footpath with their personal gardens, car parks, etc.

On Oct 1 night there was one mega jam leading to the CBI junction (we took 1 hr from Cauvery Circle to CBI junction).  Motorcyclists were riding on the footpath with gay abandon and actually horning at the pedestrians to get out of the way!

Large societies are stable only when there is respect for the law.  However Indians it appears respect rules and the laws as long as it is convenient for them to do so.  At other times it is "I know best".

On the other thing you said, I remember watching a movie many years back.  The movie was set in either Mississippi or Alabama in the racially charged years of the 60s.  One line I remember is that of small white kid (who is very friendly with a black man) asking his father - "How can you hate someone you don't even know?". 



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

silkboard's picture

irrelevant? not really

We are here to share our learnings, analysis and observations about quality of lives we lead in our cities. Who'd disagree that law and order is a big part of that?

The ideological debates are probably not relevant, but the reality is that those angles tend to come in whenever these incidents are spoken of as pure law and order situations.

If you are going to be scared running your small business, if you are told not to venture out to chickpet like areas because some disgruntled folks are blasting bombs, if you got to walk on roads because local dada sponsors encorachment of pavements so that he can "sell" spots to poor vendors, if you are told to avoid going to areas near churches because there may be trouble there - why should you ignore all this? Is quality of life only about getting roti, water, power and infotainment inside the confines of our five walled houses?

Separating facts and aspects of civilized and law abiding societies from these ideological debates is our responsibility, praja's responsibility, or else, who do we expect will do this?

psaram42's picture

Smoke Screens

The thread is on "Hindu Fundamentals" on attack. Notice it is "fundamentals" not "fundamentalists".

When the society is in a golden era the religion faith etc take a back seat. No body brings it to the public domain. However when not in such a golden era where the divide between rich and poor in terms of number count or in terms of the richness count exceeds the tolerance limit then these aberrations manifest themselves. These manifestations are signs of "Resource Crunch" not limited to a region or a country but it is of the entire globe.

Religion, faith etc is personal, like what happens in our bed rooms. The constitution has or should have the provision which should be enforced judiciously. However as silk board rightly points out we need to keep the facts of life separate from the religion / faith etc. We should not loose course by these smoke screens.

murali772's picture

we should learn from history

Cadambi avare!

Nazicm started off as a reaction supposedly to the miserly and extortionist ways of the rich Jews. And, look where it landed! And, I am afraid our own religious, castist, regional, language fundamentalisms are all heading the same terrorism way. Though, generally a supporter of the BJP, I feel terribly unsure if they will be able to contain the tiger they are riding. And, when  things go out of hand, the knock will be on your door even before you know it, for, who decides who belongs and who doesn't.

When we met personally, and our discussions touched upon these matters, I had quite clearly gauged your line of thinking. And, very much like Sreevatsa, I too can never agree with it. But, that does not mean we cannot agree over other matters, and remain friends, and also continue to try and convert you to our line of thinking. If there's room for religious conversions under the Indian constitution, the same should go for ideological conversions too, right? :))).

And, while civic issues are very much PRAJA's focus, such discussions are very much relevant too, since after all  they are all inter-related. And, being a non-focus area, I set it off under 'forum', and not as a 'blog'.

SB - I agree with you totally that ultimately it all amounts to proper implementaion of law & order. And, from my understanding, the Soli Sorabjee Committee report on Police Reforms addresses these issues very well. We now need to put in every effort to ensure that it's implemented by the GoK immediately, without the important provisions being diluted in any way. Working group???

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Gautamrao's picture

This Thread Could Ignite Passions

Dear Mr.Muralidhar Rao, I appreciate your concern for some sense to prevail in the society. However, Praja being a website for civic issues and these issues being as controvesial as they are, it would be better to stick to the core issues. Let not the group get divided on these extraneous issues. Thank you.
nijavaada's picture

but why?!

I think I understand the purpose of this debate.. but coming to one point made by silkboard here - "But tit for tat is not the way to deal with things in civilized setups." Come on! We're still a distance from being in a civilized setup! In my feeling we've lost all the civilization that we once had, and have becomes slaves of influences by others. In that light, some people are being subject to tight corners forcing them to succumb to conversions. I look at the conversion episode as an exposure of some real big holes in the cultural (read religious) canvas of our society - and because we've lost our civilization - a thing of the past - we've forgotten where we belong, and who we are! We've also lost the confidence in us be self-sustenant in terms of taking and making decisions. We tend to look at others for almost everything. So I look at this episode as a good chance to re-look at our own past, understand it and realise what we can, and should be self-reliant in doing. Even in religion, I think we need a strong mind - a conversion from one religion to another just shows how weak the converted mind is, and just how sad the state of affairs is, to ensure it doesnt happen. Finally: Enforcement of law is one, but a stronger understanding of our past is another. A practical perspective of the reason for our existence, our vision as a society, as a civilization that continues to exist must be made clear in our minds. I am sure these episodes will start seeming like comedy then! We @ Praja need to work with today's governance to make sure this kind of education gets imparted in a fair manner to all people(s) in the society. -Nijavaada
kbsyed61's picture

Religion, Politics and the Law

The issues that are raised in this thread can not be looked from a single perspective either of religion or politics alone. Not even just the failure of law and justice system.

The problem which starts off with some basing on religious issue gets hijacked or given political colors, then leading to law & order problem. The crux of the matter lies in all these transitional phases. One can lay the fault on all of these sources - religion, politics and governance.

Being a Muslim, let me talk about 'Terrorist Attacks' allegedly perpetuated by Muslims. I can argue and counter argue about these labels Terrorists, militants etc and also the disadvantage being a religious minority with deep rooted suspicious about its patriotism by the majority. Let me keep it short for discussion here.

From a religious perspective, it has been a failure of the religious authority in Muslim community to strive the community away from the allegations and actual acts. It has failed to give the required leadership and religious guidance to keep the community on right path. Their authority is tested in times of difficulty, riots, national losses and inhuman assault on other communities. Time has shown that they have utterly failed in their duty. Now we hear some voices, but it need to be get loader and heard by everybody. For some reason either they do not react/correct the course or ignore it completely saying it doesn't concern them. For me they have failed in the basic fundamental requirement of a human being and particularly a Muslim - To enjoy and encourage the good, forbid the evil.

In absence of any resistance or guidance from religious authority, issues gets hijacked in political arena. All our politicians are part and parcel of one community or other. They too would feel the same way as other community members feels. Once the feel is considered emotional/catchy, politicians would not shy way from using it for elections. Once it is laid out in public arena and election battlefield, it becomes the problems of the state with law and order. Some how, as days are passing the law and order machinery is becoming more and more spineless with pressures from their bosses, politicians and from their own community. Result is, issues are left untouched and continues to simmer on the pans of political kitchens.

Now everything is being looked from the lenses of "US & Them". With the advent of BJP on political arena and its reactionary ideology, it seems the whole nation is polarized between "US & Them". Now every killing, riot, protest, blasts gets justified all in the name of "Victimhood". We hear these cries from all and sundries.

Now we are crossing all boundaries of rational and commonsense with defining Gujarat's "Progress" with polarizing ideology and WB's decline with secular credentials. This is nothing but utter non-sense. Let's not fool ourselves that Gujarat's progress is due to its polarization based on the worst riots and mass killings. Neither WB's decline is due to its secular leanings. If we are doing so then we are declaring to the world that, for our worldly progress, we don't mind killing people whether it be burning the train, mass killings of a community and keeping them at the relief camps.

WB's industrial and economic decline not because of secular credential, but because over-unionization and plain language "GOONDAGIRI" to the maximum.

Even though we satisfy ourselves with a comfort that we are progressing economically, but we have lost the war in social, moral and spiritual aspects. Each one of us failed the Indian nation. Religious leaders have failed to identify the good and evil and guide the communities. Politicians have failed to keep the people's temper in control, instead are busy stoking the new ones. Law and order machinery instead of punishing the guilty busy in gathering the victims for statistics. They have almost outsourced the whole law & order operation to the disgruntled and savage forces. Otherwise can you think odf us turning a blind eye & deaf ears to the scenes of blasts and cries of rape victims? Can we take pride in our great religious heritage?

Gautamrao's picture

We are indeed paying a price!

Cadambi is right when he says that Nehru was a blunderous PM. His thoughts and values were directly from Cambridge and being a son of a rich man, he had no idea about the ground realities in India - typical of any rich person in India in those days or even today. Lets not forget the blunder which Nehru committed when Kashmir was attacked by Pakis and the army chief had warned Nehru to take some premptive steps. He didn't and by the time he gave marching orders, the Pakis had already occupied a large portion. [Today's POK]. When China invaded Tibet, the British, I was told, had offered help to India to push them out. We know what Nehru did then - Coined the Hindi-chini Bhai Bhai slogan and played Table tennis with his Chinese counterpart. The Chinese border [Sino-Indian border] had soldiers without any weapons and when the Chinese attacked in 1962, thousands of innocent soldiers died. He built huge dams calling them the "Temples of modern India" and these dams are today a seismological threat. When India achieved independence, Mahatma Gandhi had asked Nehru to dissolve the congress since it had served its purpose. Nehru didn't and used the established party to serve his personal ends. He did not allow the opposition to grow and helped create sycophancy in the congress ranks. Above all, he miserably failed to change the functioning of the bureaucracy, police reforms, judicial reforms etc. all of which were well within his capability since he was the defacto emperor of India after 1947 till 1964. Most importantly, he failed to bring about any comprehensive, strong legislation to contain and control the population which was a mere 35 crore in 1947. Today, India is adding 5 crores every year and even the present government is simply unconcerned about it. I think our country is heading for an environmental chaos sooner or later and whatever be the economic progress, the growth will be neutralised by our huge, unwieldy and uncontrollable population.
Gautamrao's picture

What about over-population?

Cadambi, frankly speaking, I am neither happy with the congress nor the BJP nor any other party. What did the BJP do in the 5 years of rule to contain the over-population, reform the bureaucracy, police and judiciary. I personally believe that the Nehru dynasty is the cause of most of the problems of India today for its miserable failure to contain and control the population, bring about electoral reforms, police reforms, judicial reforms etc. But the BJP did nothing about it either. Today's Manmohan singh govt. speaks only about SENSEX and the markets. I have the gut feeling that our huge, unmanageable population is our real time-bomb and terrorist.
Gautamrao's picture

Can't agree with this statement.

"Let's not fool ourselves that Gujarat's progress is due to its polarization based on the worst riots and mass". I simply don't accept this statement of yours. How can the progress of a state be on account of riots and refugee camps? In 1984, the anti-Sikh riots broke out in Delhi. Did Delhi progress after that? Gujrat's progress is because of a dynamic CM who has ushered in political stability. Nothing to do with riots or anything like that. W.B. has failed because of unionisation, as you rightly pointed out and politisation of development by Mamta Banerjee and others. Rest of your reply, I am in complete agreement.
kbsyed61's picture

That's what I meant !

Gautamrao avare, That's exactly what I tried to say here. Gujarat's growth that is being projected is absolutely not due to riots or killings. Progress can not be achieved on the dead bodies and in grave yards. To me, Gujarat's growth should be attributed to the energies and passions spent in right directions and at right places. Syed
silkboard's picture

right Gautam, Syed

Gujrat growth related comment above is an unjustified and unproven correlation. It isn't that Gujrat was like Bihar earlier and a new CM has turned it around. It was a good (that relative word, compared to other states) state, turned bit more better by what pink newspapers call as efficient administration.

The reverse correlation isn't true. Himachal Pradesh is one state that has impressive growth statistics amongst other Indian states (source: some analysis sourced from There is no such hate correlation there. I can produce some data showing state growth rates over last decade, but that will only prolong this debate here.

In fact, when speaking of divide and hatred, these have been sharp and high (on caste lines) in Bihar and UP over past decade, and we have seen how those states have slid down starting mid to late 80s.

Cadambi sir, your West Bengal's demise and secularism associaton is lot lot more ill-researched conclusion than the Gujrat Hindutva one. But as you said yourself, I now agree - lets stop this. Its hard not to color this debate with things we don't want to hear and say. To me, that we can't debate this thing with reason is itself a sad thing. I know, we are all here to make friends for city's causes, and not to discuss private opinions.

Syed - if my last comment sounded like "us and them", I apologize. I certainly don't see things that way, though I wished to describe an invisible and thin wall that exists between the two biggest communities of this country. However small, it is a real one,and wish one could bring it down. I only know one way - focus on economic activity, and rule of law.

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